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Disability Etiquette And Meeting

Disability Etiquette

In our interactions with the disabled, we frequently hear comments about how able-bodied people often seem to feel uncomfortable around them.   People don’t know how to act, react or interact. So we thought it would be a good idea to provide some education on disability etiquette – courtesy of the United Cerebral Palsy Association. Their top 10 tips:

  1. When talking with a disabled person, speak directly to him rather than through a companion.

  2. When introduced to a disabled person, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands. And shaking with the left hand, if necessary, is appropriate.

  3. When meeting a visually impaired person, always identify yourself. If in a group conversation, identify others who are speaking.

  4. If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted. Then ask and listen to instructions.

  5. Treat adults as adults. Address them using their first names and don’t patronize by patting on the head or shoulder.

  6. Leaning on or hanging on someone’s wheelchair is similar to leaning on or hanging onto a person. It’s generally considered annoying.

  7. Listen attentively when talking with a person who has difficulty speaking. Be patient and wait for the person to finish. Ask short questions that require short answers. If you don’t understand, repeat it back and allow the person to respond.

  8. When speaking with a person in a wheelchair, place yourself at eye level to help with a comfortable conversation.

  9. To get the attention of a person who is deaf, gently tap his shoulder or wave your hand. Speak while looking directly at the person to determine if he can read your lips.

  10. Relax! Don’t be nervous or afraid of doing the wrong thing. And if you’re unsure of what to do, ask.

We hope you find these tips helpful. And if you or your loved one are disabled and you suspect abuse or neglect, The Law Offices of William K. Goldfarb is your resource. Feel free to contact us if you need help or just have a question. You can call us at 704-296-0055 or us through this website on the “Contact Us” page.

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